04 March 2010

Lesson #16: Live Music is Super.

There's something special about live music.  And I don't mean the last Britney concert (sorry Brit-fans).

I have a great memory from a vacation to New Orleans in 2005.  We were wandering around the city, and decided to go down an alley, following a sign advertising an art show.  The art show was there, in the courtyard outside a tiny store I'd never have noticed otherwise.  There was also a zydeco band, performing, and selling their CD.

It was the first time I'd heard zydeco, but there are elements that aren't really my thing.  I grew up cringing at bluegrass, the twang of banjo, songs where I couldn't understand the words, let alone the lyrics.  Had I heard the music on the radio, I'm fairly sure I would have switched channels to something more familiar.

But I liked it.

I've found this with most music.  Bluegrass, country, rock, classical piano, symphony... I could probably even do polka.  There's just something different about having a musician/band (alright, a good musician/band) live.  It doesn't matter what style, I'm going to have a good time.

I think this is because music... or maybe the act of just creating the art, the passion and dedication it takes to really become proficient.  That's hours and hours and hours of someone's life that I witness, when they're up there playing.  And they're sharing that experience with me.  That's special.

If you need another example, think about the last time someone played a song you knew -- Dave on the guitar, for example.  Did you feel differently than the last time you caught it on the radio?  It's way better than the lame hold-the-boom-box-over-the-head-and-play-a-love-song trick... though... I guess it's the thought that counts.  But anyway, there's an intention, and an intimacy, in making music, and many other art forms.  It's great when that can be shared, with one special person, or a couple hundred.

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